This has got to be the mother of all creative endeavours. Not too many people recall Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2011 fiasco Saat Khoon Maaf for anything except the Kashmir episode where Irrfan Khan played a seemingly sensitive Kashmiri poet who becomes a bestial brute in bed with his wife (Priyanka Chopra). A stunning slice of domestic life rendered invaluably sinuous by Irrfan’s nuanced portrayal of the poet with a heart of coal. Now that episode from Saat Khoon Maaf is all set to become an independent full-length film.
The decision was taken when Irrfan and Vishal were shooting in Kashmir again late last month, this time for Haider, a desi adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It was there that the actor and director decided to rescue the Kashmir episode of Saat Khoon Maaf and set it up as an autonomous film.
Irrfan, who is currently in his native town Tonk near Jaipur, admits to this exceptionally unorthodox plan. “Yes, Vishal is going to release my section of the story in Saat Khoon Maaf as an independent film. While shooting there for Haider we both got nostalgic about our last visit to Kashmir. Even now we feel very enthused by what we shot for Saat Khoon Maaf. Somehow it got lost in the film. We want to retrieve the treasure that we created.”
Irrfan reveals there is a lot of his edited footage in Saat Khoon Maaf that would be restored and released. “Both Vishal and I feel we did something unplanned and brilliant in the film. It somehow didn’t register as part of the seven stories in the movie. It’s time to give our segment a second chance. We have remarkable scenes that never made it into the film.”